Walter Isenberg and Zack Neumeyer on stage at the 2024 Sage Leadership Festival.
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On Friday, March 8, 2024, we officially celebrate a momentous milestone for Sage – our 40th anniversary. Founded on March 8, 1984, by college classmates Walter Isenberg and Zack Neumeyer – then in their mid-20s with big ideas and a deep love for the hospitality business – Sage has built and maintained a reputation as a genuinely purpose-led organization and a valued and trusted partner.

“As we round out our fourth decade in business, it goes without saying that Sage has matured and changed in significant ways since we signed our first client. However, two things remain constant: our entrepreneurial spirit and our passion for enriching lives, one experience at a time,” said Walter Isenberg, co-founder, and CEO of Sage Hospitality Group. “Zack and I are incredibly proud of what we’ve built and the impact that we have had on the hospitality industry over the years. We look forward to continuing to create meaningful places and delivering exceptional experiences for our guests, partners, and communities for many years to come.”

What started as a company with a simple focus of securing third-party management contracts for hotels of all shapes and sizes, Sage committed a decade ago to grow the company in a very specific direction, focusing on not only managing – but developing and investing in – lifestyle assets in major urban and select resort markets. The strategy has come to fruition in a meaningful way: the company’s portfolio now reflects an evolution to one focused on those sectors with a heavy emphasis on independent hotels. In fact, Sage has more than tripled the Sage Independent Hotel Collection in the last four years and reached record revenues across our hotels and restaurants in 2023. As we look to the future, Sage has given shape to this strategy by strengthening the company’s vision, setting out to become the nation’s favorite lifestyle hospitality company.

“If someone would have told me in 1984 that Sage would evolve to the extent that we would find ourselves involved in the types of developments and projects that are shaping neighborhoods and cities, I don’t know if I would have believed it,” Isenberg said. “But that’s exactly where we find ourselves today. We are incredibly particular about the business we want to be in, and that’s lifestyle hotels, independent restaurants and experiential hospitality.”

“Hospitality, at its core, is about taking care of people, and for us that absolutely includes, but goes far beyond, our guests and associates. We wake up every day to make an impact for those around us.”

Zack Neumeyer
A group of Sage associates gathered during a community service project.
Two people volunteering at a soup kitchen.

“Even 39 years ago when Walter and I started the company, we knew that giving back would be a focal point for our organization, not because we thought it would win us business but simply because it was the right thing to do,” said Zack Neumeyer.

In addition to millions of dollars in general charitable giving throughout the company’s 40-year history, Sage has two core impact programs, Dollars for Dreams and Hungry to Help. These programs have collectively raised an additional $3.5 million over the last 20+ years through employee paycheck donations, fundraising events, and corporate contributions. Funds raised through these programs have supported numerous charities through the years, including Camp Southern Ground, World Central Kitchen, No Kid Hungry, National Jewish Health and hundreds of local charitable organizations in the cities where Sage has operated over the course of its history. Sage’s associates also volunteer thousands of hours annually in their local communities, and hotels and restaurants make in-kind donations to local charitable organizations over $1 million each year.

Last year when we laid started our 40th year in business, we committed to giving $400,000 in charitable donations, and we also pledged that our associates would volunteer 40,000 hours in local communities. We are incredibly proud to share that we far exceeded our charitable donation goal: Across our entire organization, we donated more than $675,000 through Dollars for Dreams, Hungry to Help, the Sage Scholarship Fund, and other direct donations to deserving organizations in our communities. We are still aggregating the information on hours volunteered in the last year and look forward to sharing the results. We are so incredibly grateful that our associates and partners have allowed us to root each of our businesses in community impact, which has allowed us to give so much back to others over the last 40 years.

For leaders across our organization, it is incredibly rewarding to look back on the journey, and we are so hopeful for the future of Sage. We are most proud that through everything, Sage has stayed true to its values and has found success in doing so.

As we celebrate four decades in business, remembering all the incredible moments that brought us here, we know that it has taken the hard work and dedication of thousands of associates and the trust of many incredible partners to bring us to this milestone. We extend our most heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been part of Sage.

Cheers to 40 more years!